Fact And Fiction: Examining Microcredit/Microfinance From A Feminist Perspective
By Soma Kishore Parthasarathy. Edited by Natalie Raaber, AWID
Within development debates — and particularly discussions on women's "empowerment" — microcredit has and continues to be touted as a tool (indeed, at times, a "magic bullet") to reduce poverty and empower women. AWID asked feminist researcher, activist, and practitioner, Soma K. Parthasarathy, to share her experiences, reflections and analysis in a primer examining microcredit from a critical feminist perspective.
This piece, which draws from Ms. Parthasarathy's extensive work on microcredit (within the context of engendering development and advancing sustainable livelihoods), provides, first, a definition of microcredit, then situates the tool both historically and within present debates on development and economics and finally discusses its impact on particular groups of women.
The paper reflects the opinions/perspectives of Ms. Parthasarathy and is intended to contribute to the debate on women’s rights, the economy and development at the AWID Forum and beyond.